Top Stories of Last Week
- Central Bank of Bahamas announced digital fiat currency called Sand Dollar ready for launch on October 20 and that it would not only be used in domestic setting, but would incorporate solution to make it interoperable with global currencies.
- G20 released report stating it is working with IMF, World Bank and Bank for International Settlements to formalize use of CBDC in banking systems. According to report, by end of 2022, all involved parties will have completed regulatory stablecoin frameworks and research and selection of CBDC designs, technologies and experiments. IMF and World Bank will have technical capabilities to facilitate CBDC transactions between countries by end of 2025. G20 roadmap about stablecoins follows joint report released by seven central banks in sketching out transnational front around nationalized digital currencies.
- Shenzhen officials gave out 10 million yuan ($1.49 mil USD) in lottery for local residents in form of China’s DCEP for week-long trial run. 50,000 digital red packets or gift pouches containing 200 yuan ($30 USD) were awarded to residents living in Shenzhen that registered for lottery through iShenzhen, a blockchain-based application. 3,389 designated shops in Luohu accepted digital funds between October 12 and 18.
- Bank of Japan released document outlining approach to CBDC that will begin first of several testing phases sometime in 2021, including development of test environment for currency and experiments on base functions as payment instrument.
- Korea Blockchain Association is requesting regulators postpone South Korean government’s implementation of new 20% crypto trading tax plan until Jan. 1, 2023. KBA said crypto exchanges and companies in industry need reasonable period to prepare for Income Tax Act due to short window between regulations applying to old tax scheme and start of new one.
- NYDIG raised another $50 million growth equity fundraise led by Fintech Collective, with Bessemer Ventures and Ribbit Capital participating. As part of announcement, Stone Ridge Holdings Group revealed NYDIG is acting as custodian of 10,000 of parent company’s bitcoin, valued at $115 million. Additionally, firm also revealed it now acts as custodian for more than $1 billion, with number of clients quadrupling over past ten months.
- Filecoin, the decentralized filing sharing protocol, launched mainnet at block 148,888 after raising $200 million in ICO over three years ago. Filecoin is a system from Protocol Labs meant to be both a decentralized file storage and content distribution network in one. Despite multiple delays, project has attracted considerable attention, particularly in China where investors have been speculating heavily on network’s mining hardware and FIL token.
- Grayscale Investments posted best quarterly results to date in financial report for Q3 2020, which saw inflows of $1.05 billion across all products. Grayscale Bitcoin Trust saw inflows of $719.3 million in third quarter, and company said 81% of investment came from institutional investors, while 57% of investment came from those investing in multiple products.
- Electric Coin Company is in process of transitioning to non-profit, called Bootstrap Project, after majority of Zcash shareholders elected to donate holdings in company. ECC will continue operating under same business structure, with Bootstrap acting as umbrella firm. Bootstrap will be helmed initially by ECC’s board of directors. Date for ECC’s donation to Bootstrap has not been specified, but is aimed for around network’s November hardfork, Canopy.
- Security token firm Securitize signed agreement to purchase Distributed Technology Markets, a broker-dealer and alternative trading system registered with SEC and FINRA. As part of acquisition, Securitize will also acquire Velocity Platform, a money services business with licenses in several states.
- OKEx suspended all cryptocurrency withdrawals indefinitely, saying one of exchange’s key holders had been out of touch with exchange because they are currently cooperating with public security bureau in investigations and thus prevented withdrawal authorization from being completed.
- BitMEX CTO Samuel Reed released on $5 mil appearance bond. Reed is being represented by William J. Trach of Latham & Watkins LLP. Bitmex also announced that Malcolm Wright will come aboard as chief compliance officer. Wright comes with 30 years of experience in compliance and anti-money laundering, and currently chairs Advisory Council and AML Working Group at Global Digital Finance.
- Aave announced raise of $25 million from Blockchain Capital, Standard Crypto and Blockchain.com Ventures, with investment to go toward growing team, growing Asian markets and bringing DeFi to institutional investors.
- Dapper Labs closed $18 million token sale raised on token sale platform CoinList, which announced details of raise saying that 13,000 people participated in offering from Sept. 21–Oct. 2.
- Persistence closed $3.7 million token round led by Arrington XRP, along with Alameda Research and Terra, among others. Backers are purchasing Persistence token, or XPRT, which is set to be released sometime late this year or early next year. Company built back-end infrastructure for trade finance system that will allow small and medium-sized buyers to more easily find financing for commodities purchased from sellers.
- Draper Goren Holm raised $25 million for venture capital fund to buffer its startup accelerator, with plan to invest $250,000 to $500,000 in seed, Series A and later investment rounds, the firm said, whereas the accelerator funds pre-seed rounds for between $10,000 and $50,000 and 4% to 10% ownership stakes in startups.
- Blockchain infrastructure firm Bloq rolling out new product where users stake crypto, indicate risk preference and let platform conduct actual farming for them. Bloq’s new platform Vesper will offer users option to stake ETH, wrapped bitcoin or USDC starting mid-November.
- Enterprise-based fintech platform COTI rolled out decentralized crypto market volatility index to help investors assess and quantify risks. cVIX is explicitly designed for DeFi market, created by computing a decentralized volatility index from cryptocurrency option prices and utilizing oracle network Chainlink as source for required financial data.